Agroecology is fully rooted in science, seeks to work with nature, and draws nutrients from the land to grow crops without using costly chemical fertilizers or pesticides, which often serve to push farmers into debt.
It posits that getting to know the land and crops with which you work intimately is empowering in more ways than one, and can only be achieved through experimentation. It celebrates food sovereignty and the right of the public to have access to food that honours nature and supports our health.
It was recently reported that a 30-year-long comparison of organic and chemical agriculture by the Rodale Institute found that while corn and soybean production declined after banning chemicals initially, they bounced back to either match or surpass the conventional system in efficiency and profits. The key is to continually regenerate soil fertility with the way we treat it.
More than technique, though, Agroecology is an ethos, and draws on a different set of standards when measuring its success. The condition of the land, how well people are being fed, and whether or not farms are thriving are all key factors considered. It encourages diversity, supports local businesses, and helps sustain local food cultures.